Thursday, February 4, 2021

Star Trek: Mercy and BlackStar Characters

One thing I wanted to accomplish with the recent Character Creation Challenge was to create characters that I could use in my War of the Witch Queens campaign AND get ideas for a multiverse of witches.

But that is not the only thing I wanted from it.

I also wanted to see the differences between various Star Trek-like systems in order to find good NPC for my BlackStar and Star Trek: Mercy games.

Of course, my main source is going to be the challenge founder Carl Stark at Tardis Captain's blog (and of course his Star Trek RPG page). 

Reading through all of these (and it has been great!) I am more convinced now that my Star Trek Mercy game needs to be a FASA Trek game while BlackStar can be something else; most likely Star Trek Adventures.

Star Trek: Mercy Title Card

Star Trek: Mercy

As I have mentioned previously Star Trek Mercy will take place aboard a Federation Hospital Ship.  Its mission is a bit like Doctors Without Borders; they fly into dangerous situations with the goal of helping.  While it is a Federation/Starfleet ship I am going to open up character choices to any and all Star Trek races.  So humans, Vulcans, Andorians will be expected, but also Romulans, Klingons, Deltans, even Gorn, and Orions if someone can give me a good reason.  These crew will not be members of Starfleet, they still belong to their respective worlds, but I also have to, want to, work within canon.  

For this, a few guidelines are needed.  No Klingon Starfleet officers. Worf was the first and the Federation and the Klingon Empire are at a period of cooled tensions.  They are not allies per see, but they are also not shooting at each other.  We know from the TNG episode "The Neutral Zone" that Romulans have not had any relations with the Federation since the Tomed Incident of 2311.  There is still a Romulan Ambassador on Earth in 2293.  That gives me 18 years' worth of gameplay.

I stated in my first post on this that 2295 would be a good year to set this in.  Seems like I was on to something.  I can even use the Plasma Plague of 2294 as the first mission of the Mercy. We even get a Stardate for it, 38235.3, though that date can't really work for 2294, it doesn't even work well for The Original Series Stardates. That date gives you Wed Feb 24 2360 for TNG and Tue Oct 28 2279 for TOS. Might need to use the FASA Trek Stardate calculations to make this one work!

Also since this is FASA Trek I can borrow some ideas from The Next Generation Officer's Manual.  In particular, the notion that there were a bunch of different uniforms in use. Gives me an excuse to use the ones I want.  These would be new here and old by the time the USS Protector and the Mystic-class ships roll out.

Star Trek Command Circa 2295

Star Trek Sciences Circa 2295

Star Trek Support Circa 2295

I am going to need a new ship design too.

What would also be nice is to work in some Original Series Apocrphya into my game; Saavik being half-Vulcan/half-Romulan, Chekov working for Starfleet Intelligence and a touring Chess Master (loosing to the Betazoids), Scotty as a Professor of Engineering at Starfleet Academy before getting lost near a Dyson Sphere in 2294, Sulu as the Captain of the Excelsior and Harriman as Captain of the Enterprise B. Uhura as Demora Sulu's Godmother. I would also like to find out more about Lt. Elise McKennah, played by Michele Specht in Star Trek Continues.

McCoy becoming an admiral, Spock continuing his role as Federation Ambassador, and Kirk disappearing on the Enterprise B. Though those are not really disputed. 

I like this idea since it is also the first Trek game my Star Trek loving wife has mentioned she would like to play.


Silverlion said...

Ah dang, I rolled up a Klingon Doctor with the "new" Rpg's system, he's a pathologist and scientist, who fights the darkest battles with the smallest enemies! He'd be fun to play, ah well :D

Timothy S. Brannan said...

That does sound cool!

Silverlion said...

I think so, it's weird--his parents were ambassadors to /Betazed/ they must be like the calmest Klingons EVER, or really controlled. It's funny I made my STO 'fleet Klingon who is him essentially.

He's more ambulance than hospital though, he can help, but he's a "get their first see what can be done while waiting on support," and taking anger out in holodeck sims--learned Tai Chi to help him balance out things.

David Haraldson said...

Very much looking forward to reading more about Star Trek: Mercy. Medical and Emergency Rescue sci-fi stories are some of my favourite in the genre.

(Fear not! I'll not SPAM your blog with links and recs! :^) )

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@David Haraldson, no worries! Spam away!

I have to come up with enough ideas for either an entire "season" or a mini-series.
I also love medical shows and thought this could be something of a cross between "ER" and "House."

Rhebeqah said...

You must read the "Sector General" series by James White. Plenty of inspiration to be had there.

David Haraldson said...

I'll second Rhebeqah's Sector General recommendation. Lovely, humane stories with lots of aliens. Nice essay by David Langford, at:

There was a 2000AD comic, called "Mercy Heights," in the 1990s. Never given the compendium treatment but it looks like digital copies are available here:

For "Not Thunderbirds" adventures, there's an article by Peter Vialls which I understand pamar (AKA Paolo Marino) got permission to republish on his website:

In "Forgotten Futures V: Goodbye Piccadilly," Marcus L Rowland compiled some interesting ideas for disaster scenarios -- all ostensibly for Late Victorian / Edwardian settings but the general principles are probably still applicable. See section 3.5 of the world book, in particular:

I'd love to see what everyone else has on this, as I've always been interested in the potential for drama of "non-shooty" SF.